Fences to Protect Pasargadae
Security tightens at the world
heritage site of Pasargadae, Fars province, as it will be fully fenced to a
radius of 4 kilometers.
Staircase leading to a raised platform,
used for religious purposes, located close to
Pasargadae Historical Complex, Fars
Tehran, 12 October 2006 (CHN) -- The
historical complex of Pasargadae and the tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the
Achaemenid dynasty, as well as its surrounding historical sites will be enclosed
by fences in order to protect the area from further destruction caused by
illegal diggers. The fence will encompass an area 4 kilometers in radius and
will also include the historical site known as the “Holy Area.”
Announcing this news, Hamid-Reza Rezayi, director of the
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Marvdasht said: “This area enclosing
Pasargadae had previously been fenced; however, the fence became demolished at
some parts over time and this is what made us start putting fences around it
again.” He also said that the new fencing covers a larger area so that the
sections including the “Holy Area” which had not been included in the former
fencing will this time be taken in.
The decision came after last December illegal diggers
devastated about a third of the staircase of the “Holy Area” of Pasargadae using
hammers in order to find a treasure promised in a manuscript found earlier. This
area is not located within Pasargadae historical complex, the reason of which is
not clear, and thus was not as securely protected as the rest of the site. When
the case was reported to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Fars
province, the authorities doubled the number of security guards in the area to
prevent further devastation of the site.
Nearly a month later, restoration experts started their works
on this ancient monument and put back some stones which had fallen off the
staircase. However, the scale of the damage caused to some parts was so immense
that some stones had been turned into tiny fragments, impossible to be restored.
Yet experts decided not to use any extra pieces of stones when renovating the
staircase in order to maintain its historic properties.
Staircases of the “Holy Area” of the historical site of
Pasargadae lead to a raised platform which seems to be a place of worship and
for this reason the area is regarded as being sacred. It was constructed during
the Achaemenid dynastic era (550 BC–330 BC) by the order of Cyrus the Great.
Many experts believed that devastation of the staircase of the “Holy Area” by
smugglers is comparable to the loss of one of the pillars of
According to the Director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Department of Marvdasht, the process of fencing the historical complex of
Pasargadae and its surrounding sites has already started and 30 percent of the
work has been completed. “All security measures have been implemented and a
proper foundation has been ensured in installation of the fences,” added
Total budget sought for this project was estimated at
approximately 300,000 USD which was obtained; and it is anticipated that the
project would come to an end in less than 4 months.
Pasargadae is considered one of the most important historical
sites in Iran which bears traces of Persia under the Achaemenid rulers. It was
the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. Its
palaces, gardens, and the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great are outstanding examples
of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional
testimonies of the rich civilization which lived in Persia at the time.
Particularly noteworthy vestiges in this ancient site include:
the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great; Tal-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal
ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace, and gardens.
Pasargadae was the capital of the first great multicultural
empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the
Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the
cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid
architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.
The historical complex of Pasargadae was registered in
UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in 2004.
... Payvand News - 10/13/06 ... --